Monday, April 26, 2010

She Who Dies with the Most Toys, Still Dies...

Just finished watching this report on Joyce Meyers and her success as a televangelist.

At first I didn't know how to respond. The questions asked by Cynthia McFadden were straightforward: if you've been blessed by all this success why not give more? Meyers replied "I can't run the rest of this if we give all of it away." Of course you need some funding to keep a ministry or charity afloat but what Joyce Meyers appears to be saying is that because SHE has suffered and has worked hard to help other people SHE deserves prosperity, a reward.

Don't we all?

But that's not how it works. God does not sprinkle blessing on some based on their loyalty and praise, if not humanity would have the system figured out by now and we would all be flying on private jets (I agree, it's too physically demanding to go through the hassle of flying commercial ). What bothered me wasn't the fact that she was justifying that $14 million out of $100 million is enough, but that it seems she truly believes what she's saying. What does this say about those who've worked hard their entire lives and get squat? Have they've been too greedy paying the rent or putting their kids through college while living in a run down trailer park? Or maybe their faith isn't strong enough? Maybe the secret formula to success is

Ironclad faith+ a troubled past+ the willingness to give to God= God showering with blessings with interest.

Now, I'm not poking fun at Meyers traumatic history but it sickens me when prosperity preachers (which she is a prosperity preacher regardless if she scoffs at the term) like her, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, and the other Tele-send-in-your-life-savings-Supervangelists feed off the poor and needy to line their own pockets by convincing the viewers that if you DON'T give to God (and his messengers) He can't bless you.

But then I have to be careful now don't I? I'm falling into the same trap Meyers has fallen into by failing to help my fellow man. I could justify my lack of giving by saying we don't have the money to give, we have school loans to pay off, we just bought a house, and the list goes on and on. But the point of this article isn't to shame those living comfortably (although we should feel grateful if not a bit of shame) to give to the needy but to remind ourselves that even if we gave all, our two mites, the world would not come crashing down, we would not starve to death. But there are those already in that state of absolute dire needy. To those on the verge of death, TV shows and Books about celebrating yourself are beyond superfluous, they're scornful.


Don said...

Please don't forget Kenneth and Gloria Copeland down here in my area! I saw the same story on Meyers and believe she fits the mold. If you ask any of them, they will tell you that they deserve what they have. Do the ones who give so much to the ministeries and get nothing in return deserve that? God loves unconditionally. Source loves each the same. None of WOF, prosperity gospel preachers deserve one penny more than anyone else.

Al said...

There are many 'fine' examples of major christian ministry stars. (I always wonder why their own names seem to figure so prominently in the name of their organizations.)

The fact that their actions stir up many questions among thoughtful, ordinary people means that something isn't right. But it does make some of us think, and our thinking tends to push us into a better understanding of the deepest principles of being a good member of society.

Taking this story and justifying our own self-centeredness isn't any better than what she is doing. We can all say we 'need' to have the things we have, whether private jets or nice houses. Ultimately we answer for our own actions, not others.

I wonder what would happen if organizations like this told their faithful listeners not to give for a month because they had more than they needed.

Unknown said...

Taking this story and justifying our own self-centeredness isn't any better than what she is doing.

Exactly! I hope I didn't come across as justifying my own self-centeredness (after rereading my post I see that it could be read that way. I should probably stop writing late at night.)?

I wonder what would happen if organizations like this told their faithful listeners not to give for a month because they had more than they needed.

If anything this would work in their favor making them appear humble and understanding the financial pinch of the viewers. People would more than likely be more willing to give, and of course why would the organization turn down the donation even after making a "we have enough, thank you" statement.

Al said...

Not to worry, Eruesso. I was directing that at all of us, myself included. It's really easy to justify my own lifestyle even though (of course!) it isn't as extravagant as hers (spoken totally tongue in cheek).

You're right about coming across as humble and all of that. It probably would be a good move, and would help the bottom line. Oh dear, what's a tele-whatever to do? You can't ask for money, and you can't not ask for money.

Chris Ledgerwood said...

She operates a business not a ministry, and one that takes advantage of people in needs on top of that. I'm okay with people working hard and making a good living, but don't slap God's name on it and call it a ministry!!

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